Digiscoping Nov 3rd, 2011

February 28, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Well it is sunny in the Northwestern region of United States which at this time of the year doesn't happen much. So I took advantage of the sun and went out and digiscoped.

Rule number one...make sure you have a full battery. When I reached my destination, the battery light immediately went on but I managed to snap a 150 shots or so before running dry and not having a backup. So the rule is in there someplace to learn!

Kingfishers is what I was after...as I am constantly trying to get a shot of a kingfisher in the right light. They are flighty birds that spook easy. They are real comfortable at being around people unless they know you are looking at them. I think they sense our eyes.

Usually they are visible and surely you can hear them. But they stay at a distance and that makes my usual mode of photography with my camera and 400 a bit stretched. So thought I would try digiscoping on them. I can't do them in flight, but perched.

Found a nice target...probably 40-50 meters away, across the river...in a tall tree. It just kept going back and forth between trees so I have ample opportunity to take a shot. Funny how the placement of the sun and the way the bird's head is turned makes all the difference in the world. I can't exactly move my gear one way or the other so I have to rely on 'luck' shots in terms of how the bird is facing etc...

But I got some good shots.... The sun and blue skies made it a fantastic day as I snapped shots and included one in the bird forum gallery. Harder to 'frame' the bird as my S90 has no focus points like my 7D has ...so the bird is usually in the middle....well, always.

I used ISO of 100...which gave me a shutter of around 1/400 --1/1000 depending but the higher shutters did not afford me the best shots to see the true colors or feathers sticking up on head. So I stuck with the 1/400 shots .... again, placement of bird and on which tree did this for me.

I kept the Exposure to the left a notch or two...

I used 'self timer'...something you have to do and if not, you will never end up with good shots unless you have a remote switch. The touching of the scope and the camera is just too much at that distance in zoom to not effect overall quality. So, use a self timer.

I like to use 'vivid' where I can..especially on birds that have color like the belted kingfisher...

The scope does real nicely and even at this distance since the Kingbird is a bit larger than the sparrow hawk that was sitting in back of it and at a greater distance. I wish I could snap a shot with my scope with the kingbird being closer but, no such luck.... But happy with the shots... jim


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